tv John King USA CNN July 27, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
also follow "the situation room" on facebook, at facebook.com/cnnsituationroom. i'm suzanne malveaux in "the situation room." "john king, usa" starts right now. tonight, new evidence of the sharp divides that define our politics and are driving, for better or worse, the midterm election debate. senate republicans today blocked the campaign finance bill favored by president obama and most democrats. and despite a bipartisan congressional meeting with the president, the white house this morning, it is more clear, by the minute, that partisan divides will prevent any major action on big issues before election day. the president acknowledged as much just after that meet, although he made clear he's not although he made clear he's not happy about it. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> it's during this time the noise and the chatter about who's up in the polls and which party's ahead threatens to drown out just about everything else.
>> 98 days to be exact. we do rely on polling too much, yet some numbers give us an important snapshot of big issues and big dynamics in the country. we have some new polling tonight that is striking. numbers showing a dramatic and growing racial deviivide on theg questions in american politics. 93% of african-americans approve of the job obama is doing as president. 57% of latinos approve. but only 37% of white americans approve. asked about the president's handling of specific issues like the economy, health care and imfwrags, and again the racial division is huge and noteworthy that it is bigger than it was a year ago. what causes it? for the agenda here in washington and the elections come november? thomas davis is a former republican congressman from virginia and one human head of the gop's house campaign committee. veteran republican strategy ron ronjean and democratic strategist and cnn contributors paul begala and donna brazile.
these numbers are striking. help me put them in context. let's show a few more of them. the racial divide. how's the president handling the economy? 85% of blacks approve. 41% of hispanics. 34% of whites. how's the president handling the health care issue? 85% of blacks approve. 56% of hispanics. only 33% of whites. i want to focus in on the white americans, because it has dropped significantly. if we asked this question, and we did, back in march 2009, how is he handling the economy, 50% of whites back then approved. now it's 37%. health care, it was 50% back in march 2009. now, 33%. for the democrats in the room first, how much of this is typical for a democratic president to traditionally have a lower standing among white americans? and how much of it is specific and particular to this president? >> well, i still believe that president obama has a great story to tell of rescuing this economy, bringing it from the
brink, giving the american people a lifeline, whether it was through the extension of unemployment benefits or providing states and local government with the relief they needed to ensure that they could hire public safety employees, as well as educators. the truth is, john, is that the president and the democrats have done a lousy job in marketing what they have achieved. and i think once everyone in america understands what the president and democrats have been able to achieve over the last 15 months, they will come -- come around and support the president. >> has he dropped 16 points among whit amerins on the economy because of a marketing problem, or because they don't like what they're getting? >> i think it's a timing problem. they haven't seen the results yet. the president i thought had a wonderful metaphor, as kind of a small-town guy myself, he said, it's like coming to a farmer's field not long after the seeds are planted and said, "where's the corn?" the corn's not here yet. the president was resonant and right when he said democrats
believe, i certainly did, that this economic policy is going to work. but it hasn't happened yet. the problem is the timing of the election, as you point out, is 98 days away. they don't have a lot of corn to harvest between now and then. it's when he moves the needle on jobs is when he'll move the needle, particularly with whites, on the approval. >> congressman, as someone who has watched these numbers and mapped them out across the country and how to win house race, when the president's standing is that different among african-americans and white americans, latinos tend to be in the middle and float a little bit more, how does that play out in a midterm election climate where your most reliable voters are older americans who are disproportionately white? >> well, they have to get the vote out and make a major effort to do that. traditionally, they don't show up in midterms. most swing races are in white districts. they don't have large numbers of minorities. that's the battleground for control of the house. that's bad news for democrats right now.
>> what are the policy issues that you see driving these numbers? >> well, jobs are -- jobs is the number one issue. i mean, you know, the obama administration's been talking about the stimulus package. it really hasn't had quite an effect. the person saying where's the corn, well, the corn's not there because most republicans agree they haven't planted the right seeds for it to grow. i'd have to say amop whing whitu have a huge independent population extremely upset and those are the ones going to the polls to vote. in addition, there's a large enthusiasm gap. >> we'll talk about immigration issues later. it could happen tonight, on a federal judge's decision about whether to stay or let the arizona law take effect later this week. when you ask people, how is the president handling the issue of illegal immigration, 73% of blacks support the president's handling. 43% of hispanics or latino voters support his handling. so from issue to issue to issue,
you get roughly the same break young. that cannot be healthy for the country if you have major segments of the population, major voting blocs, looking at the issues and looking at this president in such different ways. >> we have policy differences. that doesn't necessarily lead to a racial divide. it just said we have policy differences. i think most americans would agree the immigration system is broken and the federal government, meaning congress and the obama administration, should work to try to secure the border and to figure out how do we bring the 12 million or so people, undocumented people, out of the shadows. look, we can call everything but race. i think the bottom line on all this racial stuff is green. people want jobs, health care, and want to be able to stay in their homes. >> i'm not trying to color the issues by race, i'm trying to lay out a midterm election dynamic. >> i know the landscape. >> when clinton was the president, took a drubbing in the midterm elections, and his standing, obviously, a white president, his standing dropped
among whites. but in january of 1994, he had a 55% approval rating among white americans. >> but it declined throughout that year and it's part of why we -- i think the congressman is right, a lot of these races are in very anglo districts. the president's not very popular in a lot of those districts. well, they should learn from the democrats who have one. most recently, the pennsylvania 12, one special election, the late jake murtha's old district, johnstown, pennsylvania, the only district in the whole country that john kerry won but obama lost. they didn't like obama out there and there's not a lot of african-americans. the democrat beat the republican out there even though obama's favorable was in the 30s. how? he attacked him. he didn't let it be a referendum on obama. and that democrat, he beat that republican like a rented mule, and that's what democrats have to do. if they think they're going to win pretty here or win on a hope and optimism, they're wrong. they have to beat the hell out of the other guy. if they do that they can win, even if districts where they
don't like barack obama. >> i endorse that plan. >> you endorse that plan? >> the fundamental problem is that voters don't like republicans either. this doesn't show that, but the ultimate question -- >> we got plenty of numbers that shows that too. >> absolutely. the problem is this, do they want to put a check on obama or give him a blank check? voters have a tendency to balance government. we had one party, 1994 and 2006, the voters flipped congress. and i think the democrats are facing that same dynamic. it's a historical dynamic at this point. it's a big problem for them. >> quick time-out, we'll be right back with our panel. when we come back, the president had that meeting we talked to you about at the white house today, the leadership at the table. tax, a big divide. more on that when we return. it can happen anytime, when you least expect it... a regular moment can become romantic. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction
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ron vonjean, strategist extraordinaire. you going to laugh at that now? paul begala and donna brazile, our political contributors. there he is, mitch mcconnell to the right of your screen, the senate republican leader. harry reid. speaker pelosi. john boehner. and the president engaging in conversation there. talking to leader boehner. the most priceless part of the picture is in the background, david axelrod who looks like he wants to be anywhere else on the planet than in that meeting at the moment. there you see it right there. david looks a tad exasperated. we're told in this conversation the president told leader boehner i will not let any tax cuts for middle class americans expire. leader boehner then went on to say, mr. president, you should leave the bush tax cuts in place. they're due to expire at the end of the year. for most affluent americans. robert gibbs, the white house press secretary, saw things this way. >> the president said that as he
committed to in the campaign, he would not allow the tax cuts for the middle class to expire. i'll let congressman boehner unwind his eloquent argument for preserving the tax cuts for those that are quite wealthy. >> if you read the translation there, he didn't really think it was all that eloquent. congressman davis, do republicans really want to run, on the one hand saying obama's run up these deficits, we need to get them down, on the other hand, keep in place the bush tax cuts for those who make $250,000 or more a year. if you add those up, it's $2 trillion. >> i don't know about ten years, but do it for one or two years at this point because you got more economic activity out of giving money back to people. you have to remember obama carried voters making over $250,000 a year. he carried that electorate. i don't think -- >> despite telling them in the campaign he was going to raise their taxes? >> i don't think they believed
him. class warfare is never a good strategy. it's kind of your last ditch strategy. and you're trying to i think frame it this way going into november. traditionally this does not work, not with unemployment at 9.5%. >> yeah, ways going to say that small business owners are the creators of jobs. they're the ones who make over $250,000 a year. the last thing you want to do is in a jobs recession is attack the job creators. the way to get the deficit lower is to increase economic activity and get the money in the treasury through creating jobs. and that's a big problem. the democrats have right now. >> he ran on this and democrats say it's fiscally irresponsible to extend those tax cuts. you want this fight now? >> absolutely, a fight the democrats want and need. one the president's clearly spoiling for. he won this election, on part, on this tax debate. mass majority of small businesspeop businesspeople, and 95% of americans. but, yes, raise then, allow the tax cuts to expire if you make
more than $250,000 a year. now, there's some democrats on the hill, a little nervous in the service here. so -- but i hope they listen to their leader, their president. this is the fight the democrats want. republicans right now have tried to kill unemployment benefits for people who have lost their jobs because of republican economics. so they don't want unemployment benefits but they do want tax cuts for the ceos. i mean this is the fight our people want. >> reach, reach this is the fight we want, tom. >> all the way, or maybe say to congressman davis -- >> john, we simply cannot afford to allow these tax cuts to continue. they should expire. the president should offer a new package of tax incentives that will spur economic growth, aimed at the middle charges and small businesses that will create jobs. >> everybody's going to stay put. when we return, our panel will weigh in, including on the word one paul begala, who is standing at the table, when we go wall to
wall. is this political da jaw view? we'll match up words from 2006 to 2010. then, later in the program, an exclusive one on one conversation with arizona's controversial republican governor. the immigration law takes effect thursday. she supports it the president wants to block it. it's a fascinating issue. on the radar tonight, one prominent republican just said no to 2012. and what do these numbers add up to? $485 million? it's a jet engine that congress loves. the president doesn't want it. the pentagon doesn't want it. it's your tax dollars. stay with us. man ] to the seekers of things which are one of a kind. the authentic, the rare, the hard to define. to those who'd climb mountains or sail across seas... for the perfect vanilla or honey from bees. to the lovers of orchards where simple is grown, who treat every bite as a world of its own. to those always searching for what's pure and what's real... from we who believe...
ur panel's standing by. if you've watched the program, you night have seen neil newhouse. he gave a presentation today drawing a comparison. neil showed this at a conference. this is david plouffe, obama top adviser. this isn't just a referendum on democrats or our party, it's a choice, describing the 2010 elections. paul begala right here, this should be a choice, not a referendum. don't make it a referendum on
the president, make it a choice. gibb, the white house press secretary, people are going to have a choice to make in the fall. this is all 2010. and here's the president of the united states himself. so now we've got a choice. if you don't follow this, the democrats are saying it's not about the president, it's a choice. flashback, 2006. the last midterm election of the bush presidency. karl rove, we're making it as strong as we can, a choice. sound familiar? ken mehlman at the time was a republican national committee chairman, "this election, it's a choice, not a referendum." mary matalin, "this is not a receive rep dumb on bush, it's a choice." neil says it won't work because of these numbers. 51 house seats the republicans lost in 2006 and 2008 combined. 14 senate seats. and 7 governor seats. as we go back over to join the group. mr. begala, i'll give you the first word since your words were used in this situation. when you're in a campaign, especially a tough campaign, you've got to say something. >> right. >> but is this really a choice? >> when they're mad at you,
you've quogot to make it a choi. when i worked for clinton in 1994, we got pasted. >> a big race when that happened -- >> it became a referendum on us. as we declined, democrats, republicans moved up. they said, okay, well, they look pretty good. since it was a bit of a choice. republicans have not moved up. much as i hate barack obama, they hate republicans even more. it's like when you're guilty of a crime, what's your defense? "some other dude did it." it worked in the new york 23rd which is a district democrats hadn't picked up in 152 years. it worked in the pennsylvania's 12th, a district obama lost. so there is some good evidence that, as mad as people are at the democrats, they're even ang degreeier at the republicans and i think that is the strategy, make a choice, not a referendum. >> do we in washington spend too much time on this? or this is -- >> john, it is -- >> i could probably find you
saying this in the midterm election. >> well, i had good cycles. you really have 435 separate races for the house. and there will be some of those races where candidates are able to make it a choice. disable the other candidate, discredit them. harry readyid's trying to do th in nevada. the underlying winds in this direction are blowing against the incumbent party and the democrats will have to contend with that. by and large, it's a referendum. >> you agree with that, campaign by campaign or a wave election? >> i think there's both but mostly a wave election because obama promised change and that change hasn't occurred. people are angry about it. we're seeing in the polls. especially among white voters and independents. >> i'm pro choice so -- but i think the republicans now have a slight tail wind. but i believe it will stall, come this fall when the democrats make it a choice between going back to the
republican past, which led us to this deep, deep recession. or going forward, that will bring the country -- >> you believe you can get them to engage in that conversation, even if they're looking at nine point something percent -- >> i agree with mr. davis, district by district fight. >> over the last 58 year, 65% of the time, voters have divided government. the reality is, they don't like either party. they put one party in charge, they make a correction. that's what the republicans have going for them. let's make the correction. give us a seat at the table. bill clinton was at his best with the republican congress. we balanced the budget four years. reformed welfare. i think that's what this midterm is going, unless something happens. >> this is the republican's best argument, let's have a break on barack obama. a little too much, too soon, let's put a break on him. democrats say if you reach for that break, the car will go off the cliff. it's an unacceptable option. sounds good to start with. we have to make them think twice. the natural inclination is a
unless a judge stops it, arizo arizona's controversial new immigration law goes into effect thursday. groups of union member, even religious leaders from los angeles are making plans for protest rallies against the new law. the state's governor is used to taking the heat political and otherwise. she joins us now to go one on one. governor, my first question to you, as you prepare to implement this law, every time you try to do something new, there's some kind of hiccup or problem. what would you say is the number one issue in implementation? >> well, i think getting everybody to actually understand what the bill actually does. and certainly making absolutely sure that all our law enforcement officers are trained. it's not much different than what they've always did. but there's been such misunderstanding and mistruth in reference to senate bill 1070 that we wanted to make it absolutely clear and now we understand that people are taking their classes by video and passing their tests. so we feel very comfortable that
everybody has been well trained. >> i want to show you some numbers. cnn has a new poll out tonight. a majority of americans -- i know in your state, support the new law. 55% say they favor the law. it's interesting, despite that majority support, you do have indications that americans of all stripes worry it will cause some discrimination against latinos. look at these numbers. 49% of whites. 69% of african-americans. and 74% of hispanics tell us they believe the new law will increase discrimination against hispanic. can you guarantee not only to your state citizens but to the american people who might be concerned about that aspect of the law that that will not happen? and what will you do to stop it, if you see evidence of it? >> well, john, racial discrimination is illegal. it's illegal in the united states. it's illegal in arizona. it has been and it will continue to be. i believe people respond to those kind of polls because they have been led to believe that that's what's going to happen.
i hope it doesn't happen. i'm sure that there will be claims of racial discrimination, unfortunately. but, you know, i really believe that our law enforcement officers are so well trained, they understand what america's all about. and that it's illegal. and that it's not going to happen. we don't want it to happen. that was one of my big concerns. but i'm hopeful that on thursday, that -- and as it moves forward, we won't see any of that. certainly, those people will be punished. the people that are feeling that they're being racially discriminated against can pursue a legal relief through the courts. >> every state, every city, every local government is having budget crunch in this tough economy. and while several of your police, major police organizations, support this law, several have also spoken out and raised concerns about it. this is chief roberto villasenor
of the tucson police department. he says shifting the burden cannot be justified nor sustained. we cannot bear the burden of the federal government's financial and legal responsibilities. that's one. the santo cruz, arizona, sheriff says, this new law requires me to expand substantial and already scarce resources on immigration matters at the expense of combating serious crime. you have serious law enforcement officials saying you're taking resources away from fighting crime they think is the number one pray yaiority in their comm. how do you answer that? >> the senate bill 1070 absolutely mirrors federal law. and we are being invaded by illegal immigration in the state of arizona. and this is another tool. and we are just helping the feds do their job, because they won't do it. the bottom line is that the people of arizona are frustrated. we shouldn't have to do it. the federal government should be doing it. if they won't, well, the
legislature and the people in arizona overwhelmingly believe we need to enforce it and help them do their job. and we're a nation of laws. and we hope that those laws will be enforced. >> the federal government, the obama administration, went to court try to block this law. they're asking a judge to issue an injunction. we're waiting to see if that judge will rule before thursday. has your office received any head's up on whether or when you might get such a ruling? >> well, we haven't. as i left the office this evening, i thought maybe we might have some breaking news for you, john, but it didn't come. but, you know, it's not 5:00 yet. and it's not up usual sometimes for these judges. it's not unusual sometimes for these judges to make a decision and relief it at 5:00. we hoped we'd get it today. if not, i'm sure that tomorrow might be the big day. and i understand you'll be out in arizona tomorrow so -- >> i'll be there and i'll come and say hello. lastly, i know you disagree with the president on this issue. you had a meeting with him at the white house. i spoke with you afterwards.
you disagree on this issue. the president was hoping to pass what he called comb please hencive immigration reform this year. there is a chance it could come up in what they call a lame duck session of congress after the election. we asked, would you allow illegal immigrants to stay in the united states if they had a job and if they paid taxes? 94% of white americans said yes. 82% of black americans said yes. 78% of hispanics said yes in our poll. three major groups saying they could support that. i know critics sometimes call that amnesty, saying if they came in illegally, they should not be allow to stay. if the president were to ask for your help after the election, saying, look, i'll do more on border security. maybe we disagree on that. but would you help me on this issue pass something comb prehence thav allowed people to stay, get a path to legal status? would you help? >> i would tell him, secure our borders. you know, everything's off the table i believe in arizona until we get our borders secure. that's our number one priority. it's unfortunate it has to be
that way. but the people of arizona, the people of america, have been promised that our borders would be secured for years and years and years, with it not happening. and i don't believe the people of america, certainly not the people of arizona, are ready to discuss anything other at this point in time other than securing our borders. let's take care of this issue of illegal immigration. then we can sit down and be open and have good dialogue to discuss what it is that he would like to accomplish. >> governor brewer, we precious your time. we hope to say hello when we're on the ground in arizona. a controversial new law. governor standing her ground. thanks for your time. we will be broadcasting live wednesday, thursday and friday from arizona. already on the ground is our national political correspondent jessica yellin. you listened to the governor standing her ground. saying she's going to implement this law. and you have been there tracking the fierce political debate. what awaits on the ground in terms of the protests?
i assume some pro and a lot against? >> that's right. there will be both sides represented. we are hearing about especially large numbers expected to come protesting against the law, john. thousands expected to first do a morning vigil, a morning prayer, and then acts of civil disobedience where we're told that people who are latino citizens of the united states are expected to show up in front of the federal building not carrying any kind of paperwork or i.d., requiring or challenging police officers to arrest them and then posing a problem, which is how do you verify these folks are, in fact, legal resident of the united states? what they're trying to do is challenge some of the gray areas in the law and some of the problems that police are likely to find as they implement it. they're saying it will be thousands strong, john. >> i saw an interview you did earlier today with a woman who was leaving arizona, moving to los angeles, because of her fear of this new law. is there any way, do the
immigrant right groups have any way to quantify that? is it a dozen people, hundreds people? is there any way? >> well, we saw hundreds of people this morning lined up outside the mexican consulate getting paperwork. we presume, we're told, to be able to take their children, born in the u.s., back to mexico. so those are just one snapshot of hundreds this morning. many others, we drove through neighborhoods where there are empty houses. we are told they had been full just weeks ago. shuttered businesses in latino communities that we were told had been thriving just a few months ago. so it does look like entire communities are slowly, slowly being at least pared off if not disappearing in this city, john. >> a major policy and a major and emotional political debate this midterm election year. jessica yellin, thanks. when we come back, is bp getting a tax credit, getting a tax credit, for its role in cleaning up the gulf oil spill? and later in the program, our pete on the street goes in search a golden paracute like
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giving the republican establishment headaches, one they didn't expect. republican delaware senate candidate christine o'donnell. as the tea party express calls him, liberal republican congressman mike cassel. o'donnell's worked for the republican national committee as an old hand on the cable tv debate circuit. various clients, including "the passion of the christ." giving mel gibson's problems, taking on gop establishment might be easier. that primary in mid-september. rich, to you first, mike cassel, if he wins this nomination, many people think that's a republican pick up. joe biden's seat. is this another example where a tea party candidate, like outn nevada, could, could, potentially cost you a seat the party could pick up? >> well, sure, it could
potentially. an asteroid could fall on our heads potentially. it's just about as likely. >> well, i'm rooting for the asteroid. >> you know, when they were recruiting these kinds of candidates like mike cassel, when john cornyn who runs the senate campaign committee, was doing it the republicans were in the toilet so they were recruiting these kind of well-known, solid establishment republicans to prove the party still had a pulse, right? so they recruit these kind of candidates and they're getting knocked off. >> i think you're probably right, but, you know, we have to send our troops over to delaware -- >> john king will bring it up every night -- >> no, no. >> but he's going to win. >> right, he did knock off the favorite -- >> all right, we'll keep a watch on all that. let' move on to other stories on my radar tonight. the house passed another $33 billion for the war in afghanistan. the final vote, 304-118. significant? more than 100 democrats voted
no. pennsylvania governor ed rendell, former democratic party chairman, says he thinks the president could face a democratic challenger in 2012 on this issue if he can't get enough of the troops out in time. >> if the troop withdrawal begins in 2011, if there's some signs that we're trying to get out of there -- and i heard, i think you, talking about, if there are only 3,000 american troops, we still have a presence. but if we start to begin to reduce our presence, i think that's probably enough to keep any war candidate out of the race. >> anti-war challenge to a democratic president? >> i think you'd have to see real changes in the president's policy to have that happen, but it would be devastating. '68, it cost the democrats. '76, it cost the republicans. '80, it cost the democrats. pat buchanan asked that question. helped defeat george bush in 1992. so, you don't want -- if you're
for him and also african-american and hispanic votes in the districts where it's important. >> what happens when the president comes and visits is the campaign stops dead in its tracks for ten days for all of the advance work and everything else. number two is, can you imagine if karl rove had said that about george bush? you know, he can generateit, whs
than the u.s. treasury. the outgoing ceo tony hayward said, quote, we have followed the irs regulations as they're currently written. >> bp's audience is not american taxpayers. their audience are pensioners in the uk and they'll do everything they can to protect those stockholders. >> i tell you if they get a $9.9 billion tax break, i mean, i'm
still waiting for my invitation to the clinton wedding in the mail that should show up any day now if they get that. congress won't let that loophole hold. >> i think currently is the key word. i was talking to a senate democrat who said this actually came up in a meeting of senate democrats who were kind of saying, gee, maybe this will help us get our energy plan through. >> -- don't apply to civil cases, only to criminal cases so the congress can pass that -- >> all right, let's squeeze one more in. never mind the deficit, right? congress seems intend on spending $485 million on a jet engine almost nobody wants. it's an al teshtive engine for the new joint strike fighter plan. the defense secretary robert gates doesn't want it. the president's threatened to veto the entire defense spending bill because of it. the betting is, because ge has many friends in the house, that the money will be there. when the bill comes to the house floor. why is this so hard? >> well, because defense spending is defense spending. and nobody, republicans,
democrats, nobody's ever been able to get their arms around the members of the defense appropriations subcommittee in the house and senate who live and die by this stuff and if they want it it's going to be in there. >> but you have this threat of a veto and it's not just this, it's the c-17, which the pentagon doesn't want. they don't want to fund. the air force doesn't think they need. so you've got these weapons systems which the pentagon does not want. that's the key. >> top house republican john boehner supports this money. i guarantee you this is veto bait. barack obama will be salivating to veto this. >> well, we'll watch that. >> it will be tough going. if there's no defense spending going into the fall election, going into the august recess, you watch what happens at those tea party events. >> testing the red pens or pencils at the white house. a candidate gets rick rolled? huh? we'll explain what that means. at or more on car insurance?
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welcome back. let's check in with brianna keilar. >> the polls close at the top tf the hour in oklahoma. the democratic and republican primaries for governor will be the big headlines there. on the hill today, senate republicans blocked a bill to make groups disclose when they pay for plil ads. the senate foreign relations committee put off thursday's hearing into the release of the lockerbie bomber because none of the invited pri ed british, scor bp officials were going to show up. the coast guard reports a fleet of 800 skimmers in the gulf were able to collect only one barrel of oil yesterday, just one, john. here comes the play-by-play. >> you get the drill. play-by-play. we find the best political tape and break it down. with us to help, rich galen and democratic strategist peter fen.
remember when tony hayward was testifying before congress, ranking energy committee apologized to him and he caused a stir. that wasn't the only thing joe barton said that caused a stir. let's go back in time. we have something new. first a little then. >> with the attorney general of the united states who is legitimately conducting a criminal investigation and has every right to do so to protect the interest of the american people, participating in what amounts to a $20 billion slush fund that's unprecedented in our nation's history -- >> that was then. a $20 billion slush fund. he got roughed by the republican leadership for that. well, listen to joe barton today. >> let me say, i do support that there be a compensation fund. i do support bp pays most if not all of the money that goes into that fund, and i do support that it be, as i said, fairly, quickly and transparently paid out to people who have the
claims. >> what's the game show line? would the real joe barton stand up? >> what he said the first time was beyond belief, i mean, whether or not you agree with him, which i don't, the fact is he gave the democrats a talking point and took republican office their game for about 36 hours which was just silly. this was more -- this obviously is a lot more correct and obviously he's thought about it changed his position. >> it will be interesting to see how he stands on the $9.9 billion tax break bp might be getting. that sounds like a good idea -- >> as long as it doesn't affect exxon -- >> in scoring politics we give them credit when they clean it up. >> he's reading from the talking points -- >> i think he got the talking points if he did it again -- >> ken feinberg's foot was bouncing pretty heavily there. >> one of the -- most republicans support the president's strategy in afghanistan. we were talking about he lost 100 votes in the house tonight. a lot of republicans wish the
president would be more clear, saying next year he'll start to bring troops home but only if conditions allow. john mccain had an interesting exchange today with the new commanding general of central command. the general james mattis, nominate to be the central command commander. >> we have to be clear we're not leaving and it starts a process of transition to the afghan forces. it is not that we are pulling out of the region. >> wouldn't that be more impactful, your statement if the president of the united states said, quote, we're not turning out the lights and closing the door in the middle of next year? wouldn't it be helpful if the president of the united states made clear what you just just said and the secretary of state and secretary of defense just said? i don't expect you to answer that. >> is it important policy point or a case of sour grapes? john mccain seems to like poking the guy he lost to. >> you can see it in his face.
he's not happy with the fact that he's not president. the other point is he's mischaracterizing the president's position. and i think that's very important to realize, that this president said, look, it is the afghanis war. that's what the general said. we have to transition into that. we're going to start it next year. you know, they are pretty much on the same page. >> everybody except for you is calling it mr. obama's war, but that's okay, peter. we'll work on you a little bit. >> we're out of time. you don't get a chance on this. going to break, i want to play you an ad that had our staff going nuts today. this is phil mccollum. when we come back, we're going to see. take a peek at this ad. if you like '80s music you'll like it. doesn't apply to you ♪ ♪ ♪ but if you're like most people i know ♪
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couple minutes away from the top of the hour. let's check in with rick sanchez for a preview. >> this is something people all over the country is going to follow. is it possible the arizona low law is going to be upheld or returned? we're going to be doing goldline, glenn beck, the critics, all sides. you'll see it right here on "rick's list."
you've been following the big news you know today tony hayward walking away from bp and the gulf oil spill. an annual pension of almost $1 million. pete dominic wanted to go on the street to find out, how do i get such a deal? >> reporter: hey, john king, i guess they're not calling it the golden parachute because he's only getting $1 million a year, but nonetheless, i mean, the guy was responsible for the company who had the worst environmental disaster of all time, and he's going to be all right, like many of these other executives that run their companies into the ground. i went out to ask people if they could have that in their life. where do i get one? we're moving on up to the east side. to a deluxe apartment in the sky. >> have you run a company in the ground and gotten a huge severance package? >> i didn't get a severance package, but i ran one in the ground. >> reporter: do you know where i can get a golden parachute? you have a mercedes. you don't have one? if i lose my job i can still
have a ton of money? no? nothing? do you have a golden parachute? can i just check your bag? nothing here. no parachute. maybe i'm taking it too literally. you don't have a job? >> no. >> reporter: are you married to one of these park avenue guys? >> i wish so. >> you'll probably too young. >> reporter: there's an age limit for the golden parachute? >> i think there is. >> reporter: is there a hair or height requirement? >> no. >> reporter: i have a shot? i thought on park avenue -- >> no, i live in the real world. >> reporter: you do? you don't live on park avenue? >> i live in brooklyn. >> reporter: a sweet severance deal? you guys don't have that? you get fired for not doing a very good job but you get a sweet deal on the way out. >> no, that's not us. >> reporter: you don't get that? >> we don't get that. >> reporter: you got to get a golden parachute, man. >> a golden parachute? >> reporter: not only do i not get a golden parachute, i almost got thrown in the garbage. >> we would not stand for